The glorious exterior and surrounds of the Sydney Opera House always sets my expectations high for the performances within and Bernadette Robinson’s The Show Goes On did not disappoint. Acclaimed for her one-woman musical plays Songs For Nobodies and Pennsylvania Avenue, Bernadette commanded the smoky blue stage at the Opera House Playhouse with the ease of a practised virtuoso.
The solo show, carefully crafted by Bernadette herself, together with Richard Carroll, was packed with brilliant renditions of old favourites. My heart was won over early on by a clever duet featuring the voices of Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland. Songs ranged from operatic arias to Broadway tunes and Bernadette channelled a parade of singers, from Callas to Cline, from Piaf to Bassey, to name but a few.
The interludes between songs were filled with fascinating insights as Bernadette took on each persona in turn to provide a glimpse of their lives, as well as muse on music itself. Based on some of the snippets shared it seems remarkable that some of these extraordinary voices ever even managed to make it to the spotlight.
Diamonds are Forever garnered the biggest cheers of the night and Don’t Rain on my Parade was one of my favourites. At the end of the hour-and-a-half performance, Bernadette was showered by an appreciative audience with standing applause and red roses.
Over a glass of champagne at the Opera Bar afterwards, my plus one and I raised a glass to the talent of female legends past and present and the gift of a singer able to showcase them in such superb style. Don’t miss it!
– Elizabeth Foster
Elizabeth Foster is a fiction writer who locks herself up all day in her study, but lets herself out on occasion to experience all that Sydney has to offer! You can find her writerly musings at elizabethfoster.com.au.